In the U.S., we waste approximately 34 million tons of food a year.

CAVIN: “That is astronomical. That’s so much food that either just never made it to table or went home and then got thrown away because it wasn’t eaten.”

That’s Russell Cavin of Keep Austin Fed, a Texas not-for-profit that rescues nutritious, edible food, and delivers it to local Austin charities. In a county where almost one in five people do not know where their next meal is coming from, Cavin says food rescue makes sense. The food comes from supermarkets and restaurants, which often toss perfectly good fare that looks less than perfect – like a pre-made sandwich with wilted lettuce.

CAVIN: “At the end of the day, a little wilted lettuce is not bad, it’s not going to hurt you. It’s still good, nutritious food, it’s just that it’s not in pristine show condition.”

Keep Austin Fed is moving mountains of edible food. In 2014 …

CAVIN: “We had twenty-one donors that provided 391,533 pounds of food, the equivalent of 522,044 meals.”

It’s a huge amount of perfectly good food that is now filling hungry bellies. And with less ending up in the landfill, there is less climate-warming methane gas being released into the atmosphere – a win for everyone.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photos source: Keep Austin Fed website.

More Resources
Keep Austin Fed
Waste Not: Local groups work to reduce, redistribute, and “rescue” food from loss and landfills

Lisa Palmer

Lisa Palmer is a freelance journalist and a fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, SESYNC, in Annapolis, Md. Her writing covers the environment, energy, food security, agriculture,...